Why are WH political aides getting military chauffeurs?

posted at 8:48 am on May 11, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

National-security advisers to the President sometimes get military chauffeurs for their commute to the White House, although traditionally that has been limited to senior staff.  Everyone else in the White House normally drives themselves to work, except of course the President, who lives there.  However, in the era of Hope and Change, political advice is apparently at least as important to Barack Obama as national security issues.  How else to explain why David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, two of Obama’s political advisers, now rate military chauffeurs on a daily basis?

President Obama has expanded the very small group of top aides who are given the privilege of taxpayer-funded personal drivers — who take them from their house to work and back home again each day — to include two top political advisers.

The Bush White House did not give the same privileges to any of its political advisers, according to former Bush administration officials. There is a record of the Clinton White House doing so once for two months, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller.

Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, both senior advisers to the president, have been given the luxurious and prestigious perk of being picked up at their homes and driven to work or around town throughout the day in government vehicles chauffeured by military drivers, according to a list of those given the benefit provided to The Daily Caller by the White House.

Jarrett has also received protectee status from the Secret Service, an unusual designation for someone on the political side of the White House. As the Daily Caller notes, Karl Rove — who certainly had no dearth of harsh critics and had a higher profile than Jarrett — never got Secret Service protection. That could mean that specific threats have been made against Jarrett that require more protection for her safety, and the Secret Service rightly won’t comment on that possibility. However, the Secret Service did tell the Daily Caller that the Obama administration has fewer protectees than the preceding Bush administration.

A former Bush aide explains how the “portal to portal” service got allocated:

“We drew the line at who needed secure communications pretty much constantly,” said Joe Hagin, who was deputy White House chief of staff for operations. “Counsel didn’t have it. Karen Hughes, Dan Bartlett, they never had it. Karl [Rove] never had it. Barry Jackson never had it.”

The President, VP, and some of the Cabinet get full Secret Service protection, which comes with drivers; the rest of the Cabinet get the “portal to portal” service now extended to Axelrod and Jarrett.  Bush added only a couple of people to the list — a deputy national security adviser and his Homeland Security adviser.

So why do political operatives get military chauffeurs?  And why are we paying for it?


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The King and his court think they can have whatever they want….at least until 2012.

search4truth on May 11, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Oh this is easy,because thats exactly what Liberals
think, the US Military is for!!(sarc).

canopfor on May 11, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Didn’t clinton have the military serve plates of food and drink at the white house functions?

Bambi on May 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Well it’s because ‘WE WON’.

docdave on May 11, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I would prefer not to be paying the salary of Jarret and Axelrod, but that’s not up to me. I certainly don’t want to pay for their transportation.

If they wants cars and drivers, they should sign up for and pay for a car service. Axelrod can afford it and Jarret probably can too.

myrenovations on May 11, 2010 at 8:55 AM

The Daily Caller, eh?
Speaking of vehicles, remind your bloggers to watch out while crossing the road.

Disturb the Universe on May 11, 2010 at 8:55 AM

unfreakingbelievable…

chalk it up to another ‘what if W did this’

the 24/7 screeching from the msm

cmsinaz on May 11, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Why? Because they can. It’s not like their looter voting base will call them out for 6 figure booze bills, or limo service.

MNHawk on May 11, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Ugh,if some of the staff,think there going to take a
SSBN Submarine for a cruise,that’ll be the final straw!!
(sarc).

canopfor on May 11, 2010 at 8:56 AM

unfreakingbelievable…

chalk it up to another ‘what if W did this’

the 24/7 screeching from the msm

cmsinaz on May 11, 2010 at 8:55 AM

cmsinaz:Yup:)

canopfor on May 11, 2010 at 8:57 AM

They need protection from those crazy nutjob Tea Baggers/

Fletch54 on May 11, 2010 at 9:00 AM

What poor sap got his name drawn to be Axelrod’s driver?

I would rather have six months of restriction or CCU than to drive his fat butt around all day.

Bishop on May 11, 2010 at 9:00 AM

“It’s just tax money”

Asher on May 11, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Obama, America’s Sun King

Daveyardbird on May 11, 2010 at 9:01 AM

For a group that loathes and abhors the US Military and considers it the sole source of evil in the world, they sure do seem to like the hardware and “servant” status they put them under.

JamesLee on May 11, 2010 at 9:01 AM

The MSM was very quick to pick up the Daily Caller exclusive about the GOP club expenses.

Let’s see how quickly they pursue this one.

Slublog on May 11, 2010 at 9:01 AM

That’s how they roll in Chi-Town.

artist on May 11, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Back to Chicago with all of them, where their “progressive” policies can continue to destroy that city further as well.

Good Lt on May 11, 2010 at 9:04 AM

This all started,when Nancy demanded a Military jet
to chauffeur her fat *ss around,and I bet,staffers
had a bird,demanding equal treatment!!!

Jus sayin!!

canopfor on May 11, 2010 at 9:08 AM

I nominate those military chauffeurs for the Courageous Restraint medal with B+ device. Surely, it’s taken very ounce of discipline not to b*tch slap these goons when driving them around D.C.

Fletch54 on May 11, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Hey, Joe Biden’s little dipstick son, Hunter Biden (no, NOT the state AG), gets security detail to trail him around Wilmington, Delaware. It’s ridiculous.

DaydreamBeliever on May 11, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Racists

Dingbat63 on May 11, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Double standard Obama strikes again!!!!!!!!!

taney71 on May 11, 2010 at 9:12 AM

As the Daily Caller notes, Karl Rove — who certainly had no dearth of harsh critics and had a higher profile than Jarrett — never got Secret Service protection. That could mean that specific threats have been made against Jarrett that require more protection for her safety

She’s a communist and a Black Liberationist so she’s afraid the Constitution is going to get her.

Ever notice how people of her variety ALWAYS insist on their particular conspiracy theories about the bad Capitalists and threatening White people but they also manufacture more elaborate conspiracy theories about why they need “protection” from a Republic?

Lourdes on May 11, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Because he “won” that’s why, racist bigot homophobe.

rightside on May 11, 2010 at 9:13 AM

For a group that loathes and abhors the US Military and considers it the sole source of evil in the world, they sure do seem to like the hardware and “servant” status they put them under.

JamesLee on May 11, 2010 at 9:01 AM

I think the point being made is that they consider the U.S. military their servants. Like footmen and chambermaids, servants.

Lourdes on May 11, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Watch who gets the really special perks and you will find out who has the most knowledge of where the skeletons are buried. It’s the mob way.

Yoop on May 11, 2010 at 9:14 AM

What a pathetic country we have with Obama elected president and these two a**hats within 100 miles of the White House.

Jarrett, in particular, makes me want to puke.

Thanks independent voters.

BuckeyeSam on May 11, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Nontroversy!

/

JammieWearingFool on May 11, 2010 at 9:15 AM

What a waist of military resources.

Remember the other day Sec. Gates came out ans said “quit spending so much on military?”

there are better things to do for the military then to escort fifth column types to the WH.

b1jetmech on May 11, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Four legs good. Two legs bad.

Shy Guy on May 11, 2010 at 9:16 AM

I nominate those military chauffeurs for the Courageous Restraint medal with B+ device. Surely, it’s taken very ounce of discipline not to b*tch slap these goons when driving them around D.C.

Fletch54 on May 11, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Excellent!

Cybergeezer on May 11, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Oh, I thought this information would be worth a re-read right about now…

The Obama File 38

Lourdes on May 11, 2010 at 9:18 AM

While I have no love for the current administration, I’m not sure this is as big an issue as people think. I specifically remember Rove on FNC (I think on the old Hanity & Colmes show) talking about having Secret Service protection when he was the Senior Advisor to the President & Deputy CoS. Axelrod and Jarret are both Senior Advisors to the President. The only difference is the Deputy CoS title, but that shouldn’t matter. They’re both close to the current POTUS and are important players. Furthermore, I remember seeing Andy Card (43′s first CoS) with a Secret Service escort a few times around town.

This is not that unusual.

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 9:18 AM

They’re Special and Intelligent.

Now shut up you ungrateful moron and pay your taxes.

Mr. Bingley on May 11, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Why are WH political aides getting military chauffeurs?

I won…

right2bright on May 11, 2010 at 9:19 AM

There was this Black lady who passed away recently, the one at whose funeral Barack made a big tearful performance (I saved a few photos), while Michelle glared at him and everyone else.

That lady — a private citizen — received a military honor guard at her funeral. No explanation as to why, except that it was ordered by the Admin., apparently.

I think Obama’s (certainly Jarrett’s and the rest of this Crew) assume that the U.S. is beneath them, we’re all here to service them, and that includes the military, the taxpayers, all of us, at their disposal.

Lourdes on May 11, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Needs to stop. Over the top. Obama showing his usual bad judgment and lack of empathy with the people he pretends to govern.

jeanie on May 11, 2010 at 9:20 AM

This is not that unusual.

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 9:18 AM

But it’s very offensive to the nation.

Lourdes on May 11, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Because these two goons are the ones who are actually running the Country. Pretty scary thought, but likely true.

Key West Reader on May 11, 2010 at 9:27 AM

we thought it was a gift…!?

/tom daschle, val jarrett, david axelrod

ted c on May 11, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Will Kagan be getting taxpayer-funded military flights?

JammieWearingFool on May 11, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Axelrod,especially, could benefit from walking to work. Doesn’t look as if exercise is a part of his daily schedule.

jeanie on May 11, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Silly Ed, the Nomenklatura are more equal than us serfs. Thus they need more than us.

rbj on May 11, 2010 at 9:34 AM

But, but, but the Obama “administration” has told me that life on earth will end because of America’s addiction to the automobile.

So why aren’t Jarret and Axelrod taking Metro to work?

Or better yet, peddling unicycles to work.

That would fit right in with the other clowns working at the White House. They could juggle their way to 1600 PA Ave.

NoDonkey on May 11, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Will Kagan be getting taxpayer-funded military flights?

JammieWearingFool on May 11, 2010 at 9:30 AM

JammieWearingFool:NO!!!:)
=========================

Go to QOTD thread,I dug up some links,and exerpts of her
thesis,and what she said after Reagan won!!

canopfor on May 11, 2010 at 9:36 AM

I don’t think that the One thinks much of the military. I’m surprised he isn’t also using them for gardening and laundry.

theCork on May 11, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Amazing correlation between Obuma’s approval rate and the percentage of those who do not pay income tax. That voting block is very familiar with getting free rides.

volsense on May 11, 2010 at 9:38 AM

But it’s very offensive to the nation.

Lourdes on May 11, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Was it offensive when the Bush 43′s administration did it? What I’m saying is there is no difference here between the two administrations. This is standard practice. I’m not trying to carry the water for Obama. I can’t stand the guy, but this is one of those issues that creates “outrageous outrage” over something that’s been going on for ages, by both parties. These individuals may be considered political, but so was Rove. They hold official positions within the White House that are extremely close to the President and, unfortunately in this day and age, are in need of increased protection.

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 9:41 AM

So why do political operatives get military chauffeurs? And why are we paying for it?

This is a feature, not a bug with elites.

conservative pilgrim on May 11, 2010 at 9:41 AM

They could juggle their way to 1600 PA Ave.

NoDonkey on May 11, 2010 at 9:35 AM

They are already juggling our economy. Are you asking them to chew gum and walk at the same time, also?

Yoop on May 11, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Yoop on May 11, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I don’t want anything from the White House occupants except mass resignations.

I ask so little but give so much.

NoDonkey on May 11, 2010 at 9:51 AM

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 9:18 AM

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 9:41 AM

You obviously didn’t read the post. Yes, there is a difference between the two Administrations. Three, if you include the information about the Clinton WH.

The Bush White House did not give the same privileges to any of its political advisers, according to former Bush administration officials. There is a record of the Clinton White House doing so once for two months, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller.

“We drew the line at who needed secure communications pretty much constantly,” said Joe Hagin, who was deputy White House chief of staff for operations. “Counsel didn’t have it. Karen Hughes, Dan Bartlett, they never had it. Karl [Rove] never had it. Barry Jackson never had it.”

Other than relying on your memory of what you think Karl Rove said and assuming your few encounters with Andy Card implies he had full-time SS protection, do you have any links to contradict the above quotes? Otherwise, you’re comments are opinions, and specious ones at that.

conservative pilgrim on May 11, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Ugh,if some of the staff,think there going to take a
SSBN Submarine for a cruise,that’ll be the final straw!!
(sarc).

canopfor on May 11, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Don’t worry, they couldn’t pass the background check.

barnone on May 11, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Perhaps it’s the only way to get them to turn up each day.

OldEnglish on May 11, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Commerce Clause!

Del Dolemonte on May 11, 2010 at 10:00 AM

This is normal for the ruling class in any communist regime.

labrat on May 11, 2010 at 10:00 AM

They are the new aristocracy, who are busy converting the citizens of America into their serfs.

Of course they need the protection – there are a few folks still who aren’t appropriately thankful for the opportunity to be serfs.

Rebar on May 11, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Why? Because “I won”.

GarandFan on May 11, 2010 at 10:05 AM

I don’t think they realize that things like this get around. Subtly in the background. People talk every day at work, with their nieghbors, at church etc. I hear mutterings about this administration from people who I would never have expected. It looks bad and it will come back to bite them in the A_S_S.

rollthedice on May 11, 2010 at 10:10 AM

This is the Socialist aristocracy. It reminds one of the Kremlin.

petunia on May 11, 2010 at 10:12 AM

The lords awaiting………..scum bags!!!!!

mobydutch on May 11, 2010 at 10:15 AM

“We drew the line at who needed secure communications pretty much constantly,”

Everyone in Obama’s inner circle needs secure communications 24/7. If the public found out what these people are talking about, it would all be over.

logis on May 11, 2010 at 10:16 AM

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Reading the article is a good idea. I mean, just a suggestion.

“So was Rove” yeah that’s the point. Rove didn’t get free limo service, or secret service protection. Even with all the threats on a daily basis.

Four legs good. Two legs bad.

Shy Guy on May 11, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Exactly. Some people are just more equal than others.

petunia on May 11, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Valerie Jarrett……David Axelrod.

This is how it always works with elite authoritarian Leftists – we get to ride around in Yugos while they get chauffeured limos funded by the plebes.

Buy Danish on May 11, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Watch who gets the really special perks and you will find out who has the most knowledge of where the skeletons are buried. It’s the mob way.

Yoop on May 11, 2010 at 9:14 AM


ding ding ding, I think we have a winner…

JustTruth101 on May 11, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Hort, the DC reviewed the actual SS records which contradict your memory of what may or may have been said on a cable show years ago.

That being said, with all of the threats that were routinely made against him on the internet – commenters openly calling for Rove’s assassination on ‘mainstream’ internet forums, for example – I think it’s crazy he wasn’t given portal to portal protection.

The last thing we need is a ‘martyr’ from this administration, though, so I figure whatever the cost/benefit ratio for keeping Axelrod & Jarrett safe, it’s a good investment for the cause of conservativism.

And it’s an especially sweet ‘twofer’ if the protection they’re now getting lets those of us on the opposition call the bogusly ‘green’ Obama administration out on yet more of its hypocritically prolific carbon footprint.

leilani on May 11, 2010 at 10:35 AM

The off-the-scale arrogance of these people is unbelievable. The elections are less than 6 months away, yet they don’t seem the least bit concerned. So many Dems willing to fall on their swords. Why?? What do they know that we don’t…?

labrat on May 11, 2010 at 10:35 AM

So why do political operatives get military chauffeurs? And why are we paying for it?

Because elections have consequences

JusDreamin on May 11, 2010 at 10:42 AM

This is how it always works with elite authoritarian Leftists – we get to ride around in Yugos while they get chauffeured limos funded by the plebes.
Buy Danish on May 11, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Even the Yugos are for the elite in liberal “Workers Paradise” nations.

I went to China several years ago. Most people travel by bicycle, on very crappy, crowded roads. The limousine driver taking us from the airport ran over a cyclist, and just kept on driving. We all freaked out, of course, but the driver for the life of him couldn’t figure out what our problem was.

logis on May 11, 2010 at 10:49 AM

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 9:41 AM

You’re supposed to read first, then comment.

reaganaut on May 11, 2010 at 10:58 AM

The elites get the perks that they decide they deserve. Our job is to pay for it. They don’t fear us because they own the media. They also know that if the Republicans take power they will maintain the same system and perks, so they will still be in place when they take control again. It’s a no-lose situation.

SKYFOX on May 11, 2010 at 11:00 AM

conservative pilgrim on May 11, 2010 at 9:55 AM

leilani on May 11, 2010 at 10:35 AM

I realize it doesn’t go as far as what I am saying (that Rove had protection for extended periods of time), the Daily Caller article points out that Rove had SS protection after September 11th and when he received threats.

But except for a few weeks after 9/11, political advisers to Bush such as Karl Rove did not have Secret Service details with them except for the rare occasion where they gave a speech where protesters were expected.

Here’s a WP story about Rove being driven away by Service from a protest at AU. It includes a quote from the Secret Service. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/03/AR2007040302257.html

Look, he may not have had it all the time (he certainly should have), but he did have service protection at various ptimes during his run as White House Advisor.

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 11:02 AM

I now know how Allah feels.

Rough crowd!

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Karl Rove had hundreds of protesters descend on his house on a Sunday to demand scholarships for illegal aliens’ kids.

Jarrett and Axelrod? Not so much.

Christien on May 11, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Even the Yugos are for the elite in liberal “Workers Paradise” nations.
logis on May 11, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Good points. Just imagine what it’s like in North Korea.

Buy Danish on May 11, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Everyone else in the White House normally drives themselves to work, except of course the President, who lives there.

They work for a guy who can’t use an iPod; can’t expect them all to be able to use a car.

Seriously, I suspect a lot of these guys were heinous brown-nosers early in their careers. Now that they’ve arrived, they require paid servants — brown-nosers by proxy if not by attitude — as proof of their arrival. (C.f. how the First Lady seems to think people have to like her now that she’s First Lady.)

apostic on May 11, 2010 at 11:19 AM

I hope Jarrett and Axelrod are paying taxes on this gift from the tax payers. I would imagine that they are liable for prosecution if not. And I’m sure the statute of limitations will not run out before Holder is gone.

snaggletoothie on May 11, 2010 at 11:22 AM

All David Axlefraud is, is a glorified turd polisher. He doesn’t even merit a White House position, let alone a military chaffeur.

OxyCon on May 11, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Do we REALLY want govt employee drug abusers, drunks and mental cases careening through the streets of DC?

They might collide with the unemployed, drunk, drugged and heavily armed citizenry of DC.

Not to mention, with the exploding man hole covers in Georgetown, the tracer bullets flying out of Anacostia, assorted nutcases picketing Lafayette Square, road rage driven by the impassable corridors of Pierre L’enfant, Patrick Kennedy’s latest bar tour, etc.

Every day in the District of Crazy is an adventure.

NoDonkey on May 11, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Rough crowd!

The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Hah! You should see them when they haven’t been fed properly.

OldEnglish on May 11, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Watch who gets the really special perks and you will find out who has the most knowledge of where the skeletons are buried. It’s the mob way.

Yoop on May 11, 2010 at 9:14 AM

ding ding ding, I think we have a winner…

JustTruth101 on May 11, 2010 at 10:30 AM

No kidding, that sounds about right with this administration. I’ll bet this flies right by the so-called deficit commission, because that’s made up of special friends too.

scalleywag on May 11, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Disgusting.

Murf76 on May 11, 2010 at 11:32 AM

I now know how Allah feels.
Rough crowd!
The Hort on May 11, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Yeah, when you’re wrong, you get called on it. I guess that’s rough….

NavyspyII on May 11, 2010 at 11:32 AM

So why do political operatives get military chauffeurs? And why are we paying for it?

Oh, that’s easy. Everyone knows that in a communist state, the political officers always outrank everyone else.

underdog on May 11, 2010 at 11:53 AM

All David Axlefraud is, is a glorified turd polisher. He doesn’t even merit a White House position, let alone a military chaffeur.

OxyCon on May 11, 2010 at 11:23 AM

This may be true…but what does that make Valarie Jarret??

There’s a real piece of work…

BigWyo on May 11, 2010 at 12:03 PM

All hail King Jug-ears and his minions!

Good Lord, what has happened to my country?

hillbillyjim on May 11, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Lourdes, thanks so much for posting that link to the Obama file 38. That blog is a goldmine of Obama info!

GrannySunni on May 11, 2010 at 12:42 PM

This is the Socialist aristocracy. It reminds one of the Kremlin.

petunia on May 11, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Soon we may wish it was like the Kremlin. Once the economy totally tanks we will probably more likely resemble North Korea.

Yoop on May 11, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Personally, I don’t think we should be paying for political advisers at all. Not their salaries, not their benefits. I see the president’s, any president’s, need for political advice as a personal problem, not something for which the tax payers should be responsible. I’m not all that happy about having them ensconced in the West Wing either.

SukieTawdry on May 11, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Soon we may wish it was like the Kremlin. Once the economy totally tanks we will probably more likely resemble North Korea.

Yoop on May 11, 2010 at 12:48 PM

No, it will look like Zimbabwe.

The Obamamessiah dreams of his father. Well, Bobby Mugabe has been using Barack H. Obama, Sr.’s “dreams” to run Zimbabwe.

“Problems facing our Socialism” by Barack H. Obama, Sr.
http://prestopundit.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/problems-facing-our-socialism-by-barak-h-obama/

Here is just one tidbit for you…

“Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100 per cent of income so long as the people benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.”-Barack H. Obama, Sr.

Nahanni on May 11, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Didn’t clinton have the military serve plates of food and drink at the white house functions?

Bambi on May 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Yeah, don’t forget that Clinton, the draft dodger, hated and loathed the military and Queen Hillary just as much because it almost derailed his/her presidential power grab. She wanted to humiliate the military in uniform by having them serving coffee and opening the doors for them – basically what the house butler and his staff were supposed to be doing instead. And when stupid little Chelsea made her ignorant remark to the press about her parents not liking to ride in cars with men in uniform, the jig was up and they had to start “tolerating” and respecting the military after the public reaction. At least acting like it much as they do today as long as it suits their purposes. The democrats have always been elitists and have superiority complexes. So they have no qualms about using and abusing the system as long as they benefit and get all the perks they believe they deserve no matter the costs.

mozalf on May 11, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Axelrod and Jarrett deserve somce cool uniforms, or at least nice hats.

Akzed on May 11, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Question not the Light Walker!

Alden Pyle on May 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM

What did Axelrod’s mistress say as he was leaving?

“Comb over anytime.”

bbhack on May 11, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Fools! Because they won. That’s why.

kens on May 11, 2010 at 7:40 PM

The Navy runs the White House mess, so it’s not out of place for Navy mess specialists to serve at meals. There is a substantial military presence in the White House.

But Ed’s right that the provision of military drivers to political aides is very unusual, and really exceeds the bounds of appropriate use of that service.

One key fact is that such driver service — by the military — is not provided for “security.” The military isn’t chartered with that function inside the US. It’s purely for convenience.

The most senior military officers get military drivers, but that’s not because of their rank, it’s because of the nature of their jobs and their significance in the chain of command for national defense.

Senior federal officials who require security protection get it from the Secret Service.

Jarrett and Axelrod aren’t getting military drivers for security, but for convenience (and probably prestige). Bob Gates probably doesn’t think it’s worthwhile to fight a battle here. This is a very bad, anti-republican, proto-imperialist practice, however, and the kind of thing that breeds cynicism in the military over time if it starts to spread.

J.E. Dyer on May 11, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Why are WH political aides getting military chauffeurs?

Why?

“Because Barry is burdened with being so Bright, that he sees his error immediately.” – Valerie Jarrett

Also, any idea if Axelrod and Jarrett are being driven around by Navy Corpsemen? Or is it just some Other branch of our military that they hate equally?

And btw, I’m pretty sure that the Fed-Packaged Charger SRT8s they use ‘Ain’t’ carbon neutral, unless Barry’s having bought Chrysler with Our Money has their 6.1L-equipped Hemis running HopeyChange Pixie Dust now.

Teddy on May 11, 2010 at 9:12 PM

So why do political operatives get military chauffeurs? And why are we paying for it?

Because in Soviet Washington, the Party IS the government.

n0doz on May 11, 2010 at 9:44 PM